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China Unicom mixes it up with BREW

China Unicom will launch a new wireless application service using Qualcomm's BREW, the companies announced Monday. BREW, or Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless, is software from Qualcomm that wireless carriers use to launch new services that let people wirelessly download software such as ring tones or games onto their cell phones. Customers of China Unicom, which plans to introduce the service by the end of 2002, will be able to select applications ranging from games and business applications to weather, news, chat and e-commerce.

The deal is the latest in a string of agreements for Qualcomm's BREW, which competes with Sun Microsystems' Java. Qualcomm has already struck BREW partnerships with KTF in South Korea, KDDI in Japan and Verizon Wireless in the United States. China Unicom and Qualcomm also agreed to establish a joint venture to create a domestic BREW developer community.